Bone Gnawer grunted.
As dawn arose, bright and rosy-fingered, Bone Gnawer appeared on the hilltop. He had awaken an hour earlier and discovered to his horror the remains from yesterday’s sacrifice to Bel were gone. In his primitive mind, he saw images of fanged beasts carrying the flesh to their lairs. He shrugged it off. Sometimes, it was hard to discern the waking hours from the visions he saw at night.
Speech was difficult for Bone Gnawer. Years spent drinking mead and fighting rival clans robbed him of use of his tongue and now he saw the world as through the eyes of a child. A life spent chewing Flemweed gave his face a fierce gnarled countenance and the other hominids naturally avoided him and deferred to his presence on sight.
Out of fear, out of respect, out of self-preservation.
Bone Gnawer was a lonely beast and the years had not been kind.
The People of the Red Dot especially avoided him. Once, when he was young, the Red Dot clan members played with him, but over the course of time they gradually went their own ways and avoided all contact with the Gnawers.
Such things were mysterious to Bone Gnawer and his clan, but as their leader it was his duty to lead them from their life in the box and possibly see into the matter.
Perhaps the answer could be found in the Blue Temple. A number of years ago the pale-haired barbarian princess came from the land of the Temple’s founder…little was known of that place except that it was a rolling expanse of hills and farmland…a land of pigs and money where all lived in one large village and shared everything.
The team of horses carried Bone Gnawer to the Blue Temple. Soon, he glimpsed the holy place and felt with the fibers of his being that this could be his second home. He had been here before. Once, Bone Gnawer and Leaf Chewer spent a good two hours gazing into the vision stones and fell asleep. Only to be awakened and hustled into the night by a tall dark man in black-a caretaker of the temple. He felt it was a misunderstanding yet something within him said otherwise. He distinctly recalled seeing similar dark men lurking around the Red Dot temple…who were they?
The black desert loomed. Bits of scattered plant remains rolled across the land and Glow trees with small grey carrion birds perched in their tops gazed ominously like vultures. Metallic reptile beasts lurked in the corners, occasionally running across the black expanse. The way seemed perilous but meat and drink were to be had…go on he must.
He scratched his furry belly, and with grim determination entered. Apart from some sloth-like creatures wandering around, the Blue Temple was empty. He walked past the vision stones and passed by what must be the most holy place as there was a large collection of shoes leading to two very large dark doors. He in turn removed his old muddy boots and felt a lightness of heart as one of the sloth-like creatures smiled at him.
He continued on.
The temple, he noticed, was filled with Sun God images. Did the Blue Temple pilgrims worship the sun? Why were all the temple workers downcast with the perpetual smiling Sun God watching from above?
Bone Gnawer sighed and met a lady-in-blue staring grimly at a collection of scrolls featuring skinny hairless hominids.
“Chick…chick…chicken…wings…food?” (The words came out rather slow.)
She nodded as she pressed her stylus onto a box-of-many-colors and pointed to a stack of bananas and…oh’ great joy! Piles of meat running half the length of the floor!
Suddenly-overhead-came a rattling sound. He paused and listened attentively. It was the calm before a storm. Something great was about to happen. The hair on his chest stood on end and all nature held her breath as the scratchings gave forth to words.
A Voice. The Voice. The Voice thundered. Spasms of wonder and joy permeated his being. He trembled violently.
“Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers…”